New Delhi, April 12: Reigning youth world champion Sakshi (57kg) and India Open champion Pwilao Basumatary (64kg) continued their quest for the gold medal by entering the final at the ongoing Cologne Boxing World Cup 2019 in Cologne, Germany on Friday (April 12). However, India did not have a flawless day as Pinki Rani (51kg) and Parveen (60kg) lost their semi-final bouts and had to settle for the bronze.
A prodigious talent, the 18-year-old Sakshi gave glimpses of her maturity and prowess by outpunching Thailand's Tintabthai Preedakamon in a commanding 5-0 victory. Two times world youth champion faces 2018 Commonwealth Games silver medallist Michaela Walsh from Ireland in the final.
Basumatary had a different path to the summit clash in the 64kg. The Strandja Boxing Championships bronze medallist had to dig deep to see off the stiff challenge of Denmark's Aiaaja Ditte Frostholm in a split decision. The 26-year-old will take on China's Chengyu Yang in the final.
India has a chance of adding a third gold medal through Strandja Boxing gold medallist Maisnam, who has directly been placed in the final in 54kg due to a smaller draw. Maisnam will lock horns with Machai Bunyanut from Thailand in what would be her only bout of the tournament.
In 51kg, Pinki Rani's brilliant run came to an end at the hands of Ireland's 2018 Commonwealth Games silver medallist Carly McNaul, who blanked her 5-0. English pugilist Paige Murney was declared the winner over Parveen in 60kg.
India had sent a seven-member team to this prestigious European event this time following a healthy haul of six medals from the erstwhile Chemistry Cup held at Halle last year. Gaurav Solanki (52kg) and Mohammed Hussamuddin (56kg) were the only Indians to stand on the top podium in the last edition.
21 nations have taken part across 17 weight categories at this tournament and it will help elite boxers to hone their skills ahead of the World Championships to be held later this year.
Source: Media Release